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Good, cheap IEM's with Ambient Tubes?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hey everyone! I'm Izzy, I'm a 20-year-old musician out of Indiana. I'm new to the forum!


I had a quick question.


I am a complete NOOB when it comes to IEM's. I've been doing a lot of research, but I feel like it isn't helping.


I am a solo musician. I write my own music and perform solo with an Ableton Live setup. I play soft-synths/backup tracks while singing into a mic, which then processes my vocals through Ableton (with compression, reverb, T-Pain when I do rap songs haha, the whole dealio). I use a Focusrite Saffire Pro 24, running through a Samson Headphone Amp. This allows me to create my own custom mix for my headphones, while the house hears something totally different (I love it! I can add more reverb to my voice, change the EQ to a custom setting for my headphones...it's great)


But I also sometimes play with worship bands and worship teams. I am starting college at Greenville College next year, where it is part of the ciriculum to actually START a band.


So, here's what I'm thinking (and I might be TOTALLY wrong, correct me if I am!)


I'm thinking I need some custom IEM's that have ambient tubes. I could have the IEM's sealed off when performing solo, but when I'm performing with a band, unseal them so I can hear the band, and hear the crowd as they sing along to worship music.


Does that make sense? I might be totally wrong there. How do you guys do it? Not every church/venue has Aviom systems (btw, I hate Avioms...they sound like dog crap). 


And if I am correct in my logic, what are some good IEM's with tubes under $400? Keep in mind, i'm about to be a college student, and funds are VERY TIGHT right now ;)


Here are some of the ones I've been looking at (with my own pros and cons)


Fidelity Triples: They seem to be the best bang-for-your-buck. Good sound quality from what I've read, but they don't have ambient tubes (bummer...)


Alien 2's: Sound quality isn't up to part with Fidelity or UE's, but they do have ambient tubes, a FREE impression kit, and it all costs only $335.


UE 4 Pro: Sound great, but too expensive with the ambient tubes ($450 only for dual drivers, and it doesn't come with an impression kit)


What do you guys think?


Also, how much is a typical impression kit?


Thanks so much! :) :) :)




btw, if you'd like to hear some clips of music I've written/recorded, go to www.myspace.com/israelwignall

Edited by BigIzzy - 7/24/10 at 5:50am
post #2 of 4

Hi Izzy,


First of all, forget the idea of ambient tubes.  Ambient tubes aren't really a solution to anything.  Your bass response of your earphones will suffer greatly if you do ambient tubes, because low end response of balanced armature-based IEMs relies on having a firm seal.


The other issue is hearing health.  You should be able to get a full mix through your IEMs if you're in any reasonable situation where you're getting a mix from a the monitor or front-of-house console, especially a worship situation, you should be able to get a mix where you're hearing the whole band.  That's how IEMs generally work -- you take a mix of what you like from a mixer, not just your own instrument.


Also, you DO NOT want to do your own impressions.  It seems like a somewhat popular choice, but take my professional opinion for what it's worth:  you don't want to try that yourself and screw up.  In the smallest screw-up, you'll have impressions that are worthless and you get a very poor fit.  In the worst-case screw up, you end up rupturing your eardrum.


Please PM me if you have any questions I can answer.


post #3 of 4

x2 with what joeshambro just said. Definitely don't do your own impressions, it will not come out perfect.


For your budget I recommend the JH-5 custom for $399. Many actually stated that the JH-5 sounds very, very similar to the other higher-end models such as the JH-10 and such.


As for the ambient vent, I do not understand why you really want this. It will adversely affect the sound coming from your customs, while presenting a health hazard to your ears as sound is very loud on a stage (thus the purpose of the -25db+ isolation on customs).

Edited by SolidVictory - 7/24/10 at 10:00pm
post #4 of 4

I'd get the JH-5 at your budget. You can go the ambient tube route, but it's a nicer experience if you can go without. Your IEMs will sound a lot better without the tube. JH Audio can seal up the tube if you decide it's not what you want after all, too. It's meant to transition musicians from wedges to IEMs more smoothly than being totally isolated right away.

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